Was Jesus a failure? Surely, most people (even non Christians) would argue that He was many things, but a failure He was not. From today’s perspective, however, I wonder how many people who ran across the problems Jesus came upon would consider themselves failures. After all, Jesus never really seemed to make a dent in the thinking of the religious aristocracy of the day. Didn’t they win in the end, having him crucified down by the city dump? Sure, he performed countless miracles, but the same people He healed and wept over cried, “Crucify Him. Crucify Him” when Pontius Pilot tried to let Him go. If Jesus wasn’t a failure, then why not? Was it because we judge His performance from a kingdom perspective? Looking back through time, it’s obvious that He was victorious. How many lives were changed? How many people now have hope that were previously hopeless? Now, as He’s seated at the right hand of his heavenly Father, surely the Father knows the Son performed the work laid out before Him perfectly.
I wonder, what would happen if we were to begin judging ourselves, not by the world’s standards, but with God’s standards. Instead of how much money we have; how much education we’ve acquired; what kind of car we drive, or what title we have below our name, what if we judged ourselves (and others) based on how many lives we touched for the kingdom, or better yet, how much we look like Christ?
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” Jesus of Nazareth (John 15:18-19)